Opensimulator the Virtual World Server of the Internet -the Diva Distribution

 

Back in 2007,  I was really wowed by Second Life, but soon tired of its limitations on prim counts (number of 3D virtual object primitives allowed on a land simulation area), high land cost fees (Linden dollars, convertible to real world currency) and the whole idea of not being able to control my own server.

 

Some Annoying Bugs and Glitches

UPDATE: In my humble opinion Opensimulator has now reached a stable phase in development and nearing 1.0 status in my mind.  Good time to try it out, better than I had with the early buggy versions. Don't go backward devs ;-)  Maybe in a new direction?

 

Opensim is still under rapid development and as is the case with such projects it has a number of annoying bugs and glitches.  It is still technically difficult to setup and requires a good degree of technical skills to install, configure and maintain.  So don't be looking for a polished mature product.  However, over time it should become easier, as it has the last few years, one example of this is the Diva Distro version of Opensim.

 

You can make your own virtual world right now . . .  Whatever your ultimate purpose for a virtual world is: teaching or learning, game playing or socializing, scripting, building and selling virtual goods, or just having a sandbox to try things out  . . . let's dive right into building that virtual world of your own for free, minus the hardware and hosting costs of course.  Just start by reading and following the "How to Build Your Own Virtual World" article posts on this website!

 

My Crystal Ball

If I dust off my crystal ball and try to predict the future, SL will probably not die-off anytime soon because of its still large user base (although there have been staff reductions lately in the company, under new management once again, changing business models and directions a couple of times and the constant refreshing of the client viewer again and again with no significant improvements made). 

Luckly there is now a large base of Opensim compatible viewers out there, not to mention a dispute about library licensing from Linden Labs.

Opensim "may or may not" become the model for future virtual world protocol interoperability (avatar teleportation, region server intercommunication, interoperability between VWs).  At the time of this writing SL growth has slowed, as to where Opensim is still growing fast and free!

Some developers are beginning to experiment with using a Unity 3D front-end client with a Opensim back-end.  There are now beta services for using the cloud with Opensim, but it is too early to judge the service level, stability and popular adoption of such services at the time of this writing.

The problem of good ways to monetize virtual goods with Opensim via a stable scalable business model will need to present itself reasonably soon, certainly as the user base to supporting a business model grows with the adoption of personal VWs.  I suspect that using Paypal with a Drupal e-commerce website for selling my virtual goods might work.  So that's what I'll try next here at Rocket Virtual (please stay tuned for future articles).

Finally, the most exciting thing going on now is The Hypergates.  A teleportation stargated jump system for visiting other opensim  virtual worlds across the globe.  I believe this hypergate network will become even more popular with time.  I liken it to the early web hyperlink lists, but for VWs instead . . .  Things to wish for?  . . . wouldn't it be wonderful to have a Internet browser with a Opensim viewer plug-in?!  Or how about a common agreed upon "Opensim Stand Alone and Grid Listing Service for Virtual Worlds".  Something all viewers could query over the Internet in XML for the latest connection information.

Suffice it to say lots of improvements could be made, if we stop trying to copy SL and think out of the box for just a moment.  That's why I created Rocket Virtual, to help people launch their own virtual worlds fast!

 

Facing Reality

Grids are very interesting, I just believe the larger Internet will be the "grid".  Large scale grids are presently too complex to maintain for most skill levels and there are serious architectural flaws as well.  More likely, in my opinion, we will see a 3D VR Hyperlinked Virtual Worlds Server technology  (something like Diva Distro with in-world Hypergates, wait that's my world Viradu.com !) with truly independent viewer (possibly not even based on SL's Viewer) working with an economy based off a secure and yet to emerge open standard for exchanging virtual goods.

Gamers, and more importantly Game Developers, are not very pleased with the latencies of Opensim.  Opensim was not designed to the advantage of many shoot-em-up type games, its a ""social networking VR space" where complex scripting between objects can occur, but not at "blink speeds", so we won't be getting any of the action arcade gaming market, unless its a new kind of Farmville?!  Hey, there's an idea . . . write a viewer for the tablet pad consumer market and popularize having a PVWA -Personal Virtual World home appliance, a 3D world in the home...

--Food for Thought,  Michael Blade of Rocket Virtual.

Opensimulator.org

 

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